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Old 09-13-2005, 11:47 PM   #1
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Post Not looking ahead...

Cowher refuses to look ahead
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

One bold soul tried to ask Bill Cowher yesterday if his team might be looking ahead to playing the New England Patriots, and the Steelers coach vocally stomped on him as if he were an insect invading his living room.

Think of Jim Mora screeching "Playoffs! Playoffs!" and you get Cowher's level of reluctance to discuss his team's next game in Heinz Field.

"No!" Cowher thundered. "We know better than that. Ahead is going to be there; you just worry about Houston. That's the only team we are worrying about."

It probably was not a good time, then, to ask him what he thought about his team bearing down on the NFL record for winning streaks in the regular season. The Steelers' streak stands at 15; 18 is the record, which is owned by the Patriots and was stopped at Heinz Field on Halloween last year.

But it is right there in his team's news release this week. The Steelers, the first team in AFC history to win 15 regular-season games, can move into a tie with the Miami Dolphins for the second-best streak in NFL history if they beat the Texans Sunday in Houston. The Dolphins won 16 in a row twice.

Looking ahead, the Steelers could go for No. 17 against the Patriots Sept. 25, tie the record Oct. 10 at San Diego and break it Oct. 16 in Heinz Field against Jacksonville. Looking ahead, though, became unfashionable in Pittsburgh last season.

"I'm not worrying about anything more than Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock," Cowher said.

Sunday's big opening win against Tennessee? Meant nothing, Cowher implied.

"I still think that we have a ways to go from an execution standpoint, and I say a ways to go because we still have to show an ability to do it week in and week out. We played one game and I'm not ready to pass judgment on any element of our football team -- offense, defense or special teams -- based on one game."

Cowher also was not ready to call his passing game perfect even if Ben Roethlisberger's passer rating in the opener says so. Cowher, along with many others, showed concern about the passing offense this summer.

"We only threw it 11 times," Cowher said. "It's not like we've suddenly arrived, I don't think. Too much comparison has been made to [the preseason]. I'm not concerned with that. I'm not ready to sit there and say everything is set with one game."

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